They say Texas can make it without the United States but the United States can’t make it without Texas. There’s a genuine swagger in the soul of all Texans. There is no other state pride quite like “Texas Pride.” Hey, I get it, I’m from Montana and I try to carry myself like a confident cowboy, but in Texas they just say I’m walking. Every area of Texas is unique, but when you get all regions rallied behind travel and tourism they are unified. When you have unity you have victory and it’s time for dinner.
What Makes Unity Special to Me: Unity Meetings take on a special meaning every other year, when the Texas legislature is meeting. The purpose of the meetings and dinner is to whip up support for tourism in Texas, which is needed now more than ever. I have been attending Unity since 2002, and it is typically held in February which has cost me many a Valentine’s day away from home. Not that I actually minded that part of it. I actually almost died while attending Unity back in 2005 . But that’s a story for another time.
What makes this event so special this year, is that Unity was the last large, in-person function that I attended in 2020 before the world changed forever. We laughed and scoffed about this virus we had heard was starting to land on our shores in the US. Little did any of us know. The following months unfolded and I went through a perfect wheel of emotion beginning with denial, then onto anger, fear, sadness, depression and finally into acceptance and moving forward. If I were born in Texas, I would have just invoked every Texan’s superpower of “true grit” shunning the emotions wheel and moving right into the acceptance phase.
Texans are a resilient bunch, so it’s appropriate that Unity will be my first return to a large event. One year removed from Unity in San Antonio, I am vaccinated and ready to attend tourism events again. Texas has a bright future moving into the busy summer travel months, so there will be no lack of bar conversations about the Great Texas Comeback!
The Event I look forward to helping kick off three days of Unity functions on Monday afternoon. I will be sharing the stage with some great companies and destinations to talk about…wait for it...Data. I’m sure everyone reading this is shocked by the topic. It will be refreshing to finally talk about what is coming this year versus last year's topics, “What do we do next week,” and “How do we survive.”
Conference Quote from Unity Past:
“This thing will pass in a few weeks, then we can get back to business.” San Antonio Unity, March 2020.
Favorite Texas Quote: “You may all go to hell, I am going to Texas,” - Davy Crockett